Monday, March 14, 2011

"I Hunt Until I Am Mad"



I have recently discovered that the Where's Waldo? books are not just for juveniles. In our household searching for Waldo has brought my husband and me closer together. Long after my son has lost interest in finding that famous world traveler and left to play LEGO Star Wars, my husband and I will still be searching, our eyes burning from lack of blinking, wearing our glasses on top of our heads to get a closer look at the busy pages, working as a team, striving for our personal best, trying to one-up the other.

Where's Waldo? is a series of books illustrated by Martin Handford where the reader is supposed to locate a tall, colorfully-dressed, bespectacled man hidden amid a crowded landscape. Could be the beach. Could be a museum. Or it could be the Castle of the Nasty Nasties. Sometimes he is found at a glance, other times you must hunt until you are mad, as Werner Herzog eerily warns.

Some fun facts about Where's Waldo:

  • Where's Waldo? began as Where's Wally? in the UK in 1987, and took two years to draw.
  • Waldo traveled alone for the first two books, and the additional characters Odlaw, Woof, Wenda, Wizard Whitebeard, and the Waldo Watchers joined him in later bookWhere's Wally and the gangs.
  • Odlaw, Waldo's bumble-bee outfitted arch-nemesis, is Waldo spelled backwards.
  • Each Waldo scene takes eight weeks to draw.
  • Handford's favorite picture is "A Tremendous Song and Dance" from Where's Wally? In Hollywood.
  • Each scene in Where's Waldo? The Wonder Book contains 3,000-4,000 figures.
  • The 10th anniversary edition of Where's Waldo? relocated Waldo in each scene.
  • Where's Waldo? ranks #87 on ALA's 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books list (1990-1999) because of a topless woman in a beach scene. She was covered up for the 1997 special release edition.

Related links:
The Official Home of Where's Waldo?
Where's Waldo?

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